Digging deep: 'The Wasp Factory' at the Linbury Studio

The Wasp Factory: An opera with murder in its heart and a sting in its tale

Iain Banks' cult novel is the unlikely source for a new show at Covent Garden

Food for thought: Nico Muhly, composer

The American composer is a co-founder of the LA Dance Project, which makes its London debut at Sadler’s Wells this week. His opera Two Boys also opens next month at the Met in New York. He tells Charlotte Cripps  about his current reading, watching and listening ...

On this day 1910: Mahler's Symphony No 8 premiered in Munich

Mahler's Symphony No 8 – the Symphony of a Thousand, with its 850-strong choir – premiered in Munich. Previous works had been met with indifference, but this time the Austrian composer received a 20-minute standing ovation

Hitting the high notes: Marin Alsop

It's time to pass the baton on to our female maestros

There are more women conductors than recent media stories imply – they just don't get the top jobs

The Tallis Scholars delivering transcendent a cappella polyphony, with Nigel Kennedy orientalising Vivaldi with the Palestine Strings

Michael Church: The Proms – a colossal ensemble work with a few duff notes

o farewell to another Proms season, with its pleasures and surprises, longueurs and banalities. Moments I will long remember: blind pianist Nobuyuki Tsujii making something rich and luminous out of Rach Two, Ex Cathedra debating love in a babel of unknown tongues, the Tallis Scholars delivering transcendent a cappella polyphony, Nigel Kennedy (pictured) orientalising Vivaldi with the Palestine Strings. Most of these were Late Proms. There's a magic in the Royal Albert Hall when the streets outside go quiet and minds are sharpened.

Bryn Terfel, Welsh bass-baritone opera and concert singer

'Stop mocking the Mormons,' says opera star Bryn Terfel who has been 'embraced' by the faith

The bass-baritone, recently in Salt Lake City to sing with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, was visited at home in Wales by missionaries who tried to convert him

Showstopper: Pavarotti sings 'Nessun Dorma'

A spellbinding soundtrack to love, life and loss

Nessun Dorma's appeal extends far beyond opera, says Jessica Duchen

Take a bow: Julian Lloyd Webber plays with six-year-old Lauren Russell, a member of In Harmony

Julian Lloyd Webber: I'm doing a Dudamel over here

The Venezuelan conductor showed how poor children could become musicians. Julian Lloyd Webber explains how he was determined to do the same here. The result can be seen at the Proms on Sunday

Troubled waters: Brindley Sherratt and Jacques Imbrailo in 'Billy Budd' at this year's Glyndebourne Festival

When Britten's world was all at sea: How Billy Budd reflects the composer's own turbulent times

A full programme of Britten's works at the Proms culminates in a semi-staged performance of Michael Grandage's acclaimed Glyndebourne production of the story of an outsider fighting the establishment

Marin Alsop will be the first female conductor on the Royal Albert Hall podium

Marin Alsop: First Lady of the Last Night of the Proms

For the first time in 118 years, the conductor on the Royal Albert Hall podium will be a woman. It's a chance she is keen to take to promote equality. Paul Bignell meets Marin Alsop

Edinburgh Festival preview: Classical - Ludus Baroque, Marc Minkowski, Les Musiciens du Louvre Grenoble and Oper Frankfurth

Ludus Baroque performs Bach's B Minor Mass in Canongate Kirk (canongatekirk.org.uk, 8 Aug), while Marc Minkowski and Les Musiciens du Louvre Grenoble survey Schubert's symphonies at the Usher Hall (usherhall.co.uk, 14 and 15 Aug).

Opera festival of the week: Tête à Tête: The Opera Festival, Riverside Studios, London W6

Tête à Tête's festival of new opera and opera-in-the-making hosts more than 30 world premieres this year, jam-packed into three long weekends.

Shape of things to come: Southbank Sinfonia

An ear to the future: Bristol Proms bring classical music into the 21st-century

At the Bristol Proms, all manner of techno-wizardry – from 3D visuals to digital art – is being deployed to lure in new audiences, says Jessica Duchen

Don’t panic: The Bayreuth Festival’s 2010 Parsifal in rehearsal

The Bayreuth Festival preview: Let the madness begin!

It's Wagner's bicentenary and there's a new 'Ring' in the wings. But can the festival shrug off its history, asks Adrian Mourby

Blown away: Alison Balsom stars in ‘Gabriel’ at Shakespeare’s Globe

A brass act: Star trumpeter Alison Balsom is set to perform in Gabriel at the Globe and Latitude festival

Balsom has a burning ambition to break through the barriers to her music being heard.

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